Runner’s High, German Style!
J and I run a lot of races. However, since many of our races take place while traveling, it’s rare that we get to run with friends. Yes, running is an individual sport, but taking on a race with friends is much better than going it alone. While J and I are always each other’s personal cheering squad, a bigger group means even more positive energy.
Today, we joined T & S for a 10K race in Elsenfeld, Germany, a small town near Groβwallstadt where we are staying. In some ways, the race was like most American races: there were timing chips, a DJ, t-shirts, water stops, etc. In other ways, it was totally different: The announcers were speaking German, we received a bottle of beer with our race packet and there was Kuchen (a variety of yummy German cakes) for sale at the post-race party. Also, it only cost us 9 Euros to participate in the race. That’s the equivalent of about $12, which is a total steal for a 10K race with free swag.
Earlier this week, we picked up some colorful knee socks in a local discount store and decided that we would run under the team name “Partner Look” (it’s better when spoken with the appropriate German accent). “Partner Look” is the catchy phrase we’ve been using to describe friends or spouses who are wearing matching outfits. It’s also a song by Deichkind, a German band that takes a page out of the LMFAO guidebook. Their music is quickly becoming a favorite way to practice our language skills (or lack thereof).
After a small breakfast, we put on our socks and took Team Partner Look to the streets and trails of Elsenfeld. We started the race near a local athletic complex popular for handball and other sports. After a quick tour of the streets, we ran onto a bike trail that weaved through the forest and along farmland. It was slightly uphill for much of the first 5K, making for a fast and fun downhill to the finish.
The out-and-back nature of the course meant that I got to see J, T & S while we were running. We exchanged high-fives as we passed one another on the trail, and we cheered each other in at the finish line. I finished first, with an unexpected new 10K personal best. S joined me a few minutes later after logging his new 10K best. We cheered in J as she finished strong, braids and all, and the three of us shouted for T as she finished her first ever 10K in just under 60 minutes.
Runner’s high is real, and on race day it’s even more intense. But the best high is sharing the race experience with friends. It’s easier to run faster when you have a crew there to inspire you with positive energy and encouragement. So, who wants to go running with us next? – M